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Dear Frankie [DVD]
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Nine-year-old Frankie and his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer, Young Adam), have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, Lizzie has invented a story to satisfy her son's curiosity. Regularly, Lizzie writes Frankie a make-believe letter from his father, telling of his adventures as a merchant seaman in exotic lands. However, with his father's make-believe ship arriving in a fortnight, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth or befriending a stranger (Gerald Butler, Phantom of the Opera) to fulfil her son's need for a father...
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Top Customer Reviews
Lizzie Morrison, (Emily Mortimer), her nine and a half year-old son, Frankie, (Jack McElhone ), and her chain-smoking mother Nell, (Mary Riggans), have moved to a small seaside town near Glasgow, Scotland, to elude Lizzie's husband, Frankie's father. They have been on the move now for nine years, never staying long in one place. The small family of three are held together by love, which is palpable, and also by a web of lies which were originally invented to protect their most vulnerable member, the child. Frankie, who is hearing impaired, believes his father is a merchant marine seaman and writes to him faithfully, tracking the progress of his ship, the Accra, as it travels the world.
In fact, the boy is really corresponding with his mother. Lizzie encourages him to write his dad and then she intercepts the letters, responds to them and mails them, often enclosing international postage stamps for the child's prized collection. Frankie's letters, and the one's from his "father" are mailed to a central PO box which Lizzie rents whenever they move to a new place.
Major problems surface when Frankie discovers that his dad's cargo ship, the Accra, (which really does exist, to Lizzie's great surprise), will be in port for a few days. He agonizes over whether his father will come to visit him. And Lizzie is besides herself with what to do.Read more ›
The story unfolds in emotionally difficult turns without ever flinching, flagging or losing confidence in either itself or the controversial subject matter. This is achieved by superb casting and wonderfully robust performances all round where the spoken word is often of secondary importance to the subtler atmospheric facets of each interpersonal relationship. The material in terms of contemporary sociology is totally relevant and as such Dear Frankie is a worthy British (Scottish) film which is thought-provoking, intelligent and real. Whilst some of the "solutions" Lizzie reaches maybe unlikely, it should not detract from the underlying message which is nothing more instinctive and fundamental than 'what is a mother to do'?
The relationship between Frankie and the stranger who is hired by his mother to play his father for one day is very believable and very moving. The stranger, a sceptic at the outset, becomes emotionally involved and while at first he does not think much of Frankie's mother for doing this, ends up respecting her and so do we, the audience. Personally, I felt I did not like Frankie's mother at first, as her motives seem unclear. We learn about her motives with the stranger, and that's when my sympathy shifted.
I was also particularly impressed by the stranger's emotion in the scene where he meets Frankie: he needs to be believable, and he is very tense wondering if he has done well. I felt the tension with him. Gerald Butler is wonderful, looking handsome, tall, and reassuring, the father figure Frankie really needs.
There are so many touching moments I will let you discover for yourselves, as I don't want to spoil it for you. I will just say that the entire movie is full of twists and turns, much more than you'd expect. In the second half a surprise awaits in virtually every scene to the very end , and I also cried at virtually every one of these scenes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lovely well acted film. A must watch, no sex scenes, no violence, what a wonderful change.Published 18 days ago by Mrs Kim H Purich
Awesome film, best one Gerard Butler has been in, in my opinion. The director has done an amazing job here and it never fails to touch me.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best films ever: if you like Scotland (Greenock) (Gerald Butler) (whisky) you'll love this.Published 3 months ago by Sunskirty
Can't complain about the service - this arrived very quickly. Not too sure about the film though. It would be nice to see Gerard Butler play a good part.Published 4 months ago by Ms. C. A. Lindridge
This is excellent writing, I just keep watching this film. The cast all capture the characters so well. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Splash
Struggling single mum, well meaning lies, a boy in need of a dad - a beautiful film. I found it by chance and have recommended it to all my friends.Published 4 months ago by S Y
Beautiful and touching film. Didn't know which way it was going to go, and I was left wanting more.
It's right up there with Billy Elliot in my opinion.